Tam Tna [Profile]
Edmonton, AB – The transition from world-class soccer player to Prairies rapper is a unique one, and Tam Tna is the guy that made it happen. His predominant fan base might be in Greece – where he was a major contender in the European League – but Edmonton has welcomed him into its own culture, this time with a musical perspective. Cosigned by DJ Green Lantern and moving steadily up the hip-hop ranks, Tam seemed an obvious choice for the latest in the Prolific Profile series. Check him out after the jump!
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
Tam: To me it’s an art of self-expression and I’m just using it to talk about my thoughts on my life and life around me.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Tam: It’s a hobby that I think I’m good at so it’s a way for me to stay busy. Also there’s no better feeling for me than writing a verse or completing a song that I actually enjoy to listen to myself so passion is enough for me right now.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
Tam: I’m from Edmonton. I spend a lot of time in Europe when I’m playing soccer, and have a home with my family in Germany.
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound?
Tam: Since I was 16 I’ve spent a lot of time overseas wherever I was playing, so my influences just came from whatever I liked listening to. I don’t have many boundaries so hip-hop, Electro, Rock… I listen to everything and they all in one way or another influence the sound of the music I’ve been creating lately.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
Tam: Just the average hip-hop head. My biggest fan base is actually in Greece mainly because people know me from when I played soccer there. Otherwise I’m building a steady base in Edmonton and have been receiving recognition from the States and Germany as well. I just got Green Lantern to back up my mixture so I’m hoping that helps me expand.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
Tam: Know what you’re in it for from the start and know that it is a lot of hard work, networking and ultimately business awareness to succeed in the “industry”. My soccer experience may be helping me, but if you don’t have the finances, the groundwork is immense to get noticed. If you enjoy doing that work, you’re set!
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
Tam: I printed up 10,000 copies of my mixtape just to be handed out in Edmonton and around Germany for free. At various hip-hop events and concerts I have them handed out just to try and get a street buzz.
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
Tam: I just did a song with Choclair that I’ve been told will be on HipHopCanada’s “Praries Mixtape” coming later this year. He’s a true professional and all around good guy man. That was kinda surreal cause I remember him being the first guy to bring Canadian hip-hop across borders in a major way. Other than that, the forthcoming Green Lantern collaboration is something I’m excited about. He’s the evil genius man. Worked on Hot97, with Eminem and 50, to Nas and Jay Z and now he’s stamping and cosigning my music? Let’s be real, I only started rapping a little over a year ago so that’s crazy to me. It just let me know I got something so this is just giving me inspiration to keep making that good music.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Tam: Haha Drake man. I like Canada Dry and lets be real, he makes great music. Kreesha Turner would be cool being that she’s from Edmonton and a Major Label artist but otherwise I’m down for whatever with who ever as long as its on point. I’m just excited when I have something good to work on with talented and experienced people.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
Tam: #BeatsAndBurgers as my first release has received great feedback. The Green Lantern mix to it is the next direct project. Hopefully out in March/April. I plan to drop the follow up to #BeatsAndBurgers, #SushiNRedWine maybe late this year as well. Before that I’m hoping to do a “780hCanada” mixtape with artists mainly from Edmonton and or other Canadians.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
Tam: Just try someone new. Like I said, I’ve been doing this a little over a year but the Green Lantern cosign is huge for me. He’s got a huge career and definitely didn’t need to do this so I’m hoping this will give people a reason to wanna check the music out cause from all accounts, the feedback has always been positive.
Click on the Mixtape cover to check it out for free!